It is the most common type of dementia. As age progresses, the incidence increases over the age of 65, and it is seen with a frequency of 50% over the age of 85 years. It affects the entire brain and causes brain cells to die and atrophy (shrinkage) in the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is an insidious onset, irreversible and progressive disease. It is among the diseases that cause significant death in the elderly.
What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?
* Forgetfulness-memory loss :In the early period, close memory is affected and the patient’s relatives often notice that the patient’s forgetfulness begins.
* deterioration in language skills: Difficulty finding words and communicating
* Impairment in visual and spatial skills ; such as losing your way, getting lost while driving.
* Difficulty performing complex tasks: The patient is instructed to take the paper off the table, fold it in half and put it back on the table
* Motor function and coordination disorder
* Planning and organizational disorder
*Place and time disorientation
* Psychiatric symptoms such as personality disorder, irritability, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations : Many patients accuse their caregivers of stealing. Some patients accuse their children of wanting to sell their house without knowing it.
What are the causes of Alzheimer’s disease?
Genetic factors may play a role in early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to genetic factors, environmental factors and lifestyle are effective in Alzheimer’s disease. It is more common in those who have blood pressure, diabetes, cerebrovascular disease, and heart disease and those who lead a sedentary life. It is seen less frequently in people who have an adequate and balanced diet and who are physically and socially active.
* Unchangeable risk factors in Alzheimer’s disease: Age, family history of Alzheimer’s disease and down syndrome
* Modifiable risk factors in Alzheimer’s disease ;Diet and exercise, excessive alcohol use, cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, overweight), diabetes, smoking, sleep apnea, vitamin D deficiency, vitamin B6, B12 deficiency, folate deficiency
What should be done to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
*Mental activities: such as reading a book, drawing, doing puzzles, solving puzzles, playing word games
* Engaging in physical and social activities: Doing physical activity for 2 hours or more per week. Participating in various social activities, groups and courses.
* Getting enough vitamin D, B complex and vitamin C
* Keeping blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control, quitting smoking
* Treatment of disorders such as depression, anxiety, paranoid disorder
* Getting enough sleep
* not gaining weight
How is Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed?
It is detected. A number of blood tests are performed considering other diseases that cause dementia. It is thought that the gene called APOE-e4 plays a role in Alzheimer’s patients, and this gene can be investigated.
What is the treatment for Alzheimer’s disease?
Medication:The aim of treatment in Alzheimer’s disease is to slow the progression of the disease.
Dopezil, rivastigmine group drugs, memantine, piracetam and ginkobiloba active ingredients are used, which we call cholinesterase.
Antidepressant, anxiolitic and antipsychotic drugs are used in patients with psychiatric complaints.